Beware Of Secret Mining Apps

Cryptocurrency mining can be addictive in two ways. One is the confidence and encouragement attained by the miner with each new coin and block rewards. Second is the fun of doing something innovative and out-of-the-box, where you will be accompanied by one or more miners competing with each other.

You can say a different form of online game or gambling. Miners are recently getting shockwaves with more countries putting legal restrictions on transactions using cryptocurrencies and imposing tight financial policies.

Indirect mining cases are being reported now, where the miners literally hack into another person’s mobile application and carry out secret mining. In most cases, the application users will not get any hint that they are being hacked and running a malware on their mobile.

Mobile applications have become targets

There are two reasons why these high-tech miners selectively use mobile applications to increase their coin bounty:

  • Most of the mobile applications are downloaded by the users to use them regularly. Software and hardware downloaded on the desktop are seldom used, mostly when the users are at home and check out their system as a part of their routine. On the other hand, mobile applications are always with them, just a touch away and most probably running whenever there is an internet connection.
  • Trust factor of mobile applications and their appeal make them suitable for the miners to get a good platform of unsuspected activity. The applications are even available on Play store and will be based on popular streams like soccer games, daily monitoring apps etc. Footballs will not think even in extreme cases that they are playing a game, but in the background, their app is actually mining cryptocurrencies.

Play store apps generally ask permission to access data on the mobile phone as a mandatory step to download the app and the users have to abide by that. When the app is opened, the malware simultaneously opens a Javascript along with the HTML file which makes the processor act as a tool for mining.

Some of the popular mobile apps frequently reported to be hacked by miners are:

  • Gaming apps like football, match broadcasting apps
  • Weather reporting apps like those giving information about surrounding temperature, the current climate in specific regions, humidity, forecasts etc.
  • Regular trading applications
  • Applications providing Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
  • Apps which monitor mobile parameters like battery charge, memory usage, temperature etc.

While downloading any mobile apps from sites, we should ensure that the app is verified to be malware free and featured on trusted stores. Keep your device as well as yourselves updated about the miner entry.